A PANTOMIME has been cancelled due to financial difficulties.

The Wizard of Oz was due to be on at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA) at the University of Sussex from Friday, December 13 until New Year’s Eve.

But ACCA have announced that the show, which is produced by independent production company JW Productions, will not go ahead this year after all.

A statement on their website said: “The pantomime is produced each year by an independent production company, JW Productions.

“Due to the unstable economic environment it has not been possible for the company to make the production happen this year.”

Creative director at ACCA Laura McDermott said she understands this is disappointing news for audiences who were looking forward to seeing the show, local children who were due to be involved in the pantomime and for the show’s creative team.

She said: “There will not be a Christmas show at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts this year, and we will consider what our future plans in the Christmas period might be.”

In an official statement, JW Productions said: “We are deeply sorry to announce that the performances of Wizard of Oz scheduled for Christmas will not be taking place; with our best intentions we have not been able to bring this project to life.

“We know how disappointing this news is.

“Please accept our apologies and know we have not taken this decision lightly.”

ACCA said all tickets purchased for the show will be refunded in full by the box office automatically.

However, Showtime Productions are offering a special deal for their production of Dick Whittington at the Windmill Theatre in Hove, for anyone who had purchased a ticket to see The Wizard of Oz.

Producer Robert Blass said: “For anybody that had bought a family ticket and was disappointed the show at the Attenborough Centre was cancelled, we will offer group discount tickets and a box of Quality Street chocolates.

“We also have a special relaxed preview performance on December 21 at 1.30pm, and tickets will be only £10 each.”

Mr Blass said anyone who wants to take advantage of the discount should call the box office on 01273 565130.

Dick Whittington is on from Sunday, December 22 until Sunday, December 29 at 1.30pm.